The city in which you are born is the one you know the least. It’s just home with its familiar cityscape, favorite locales and friends you’ve grown to know. What is common becomes unworthy of our curiosity.
I had a chance to renew my curiosity for my hometown of Calgary. I wanted to tell a story that connected our TEDxCalgary theme of “Breakthrough” speakers with the pioneering spirit rooted in Calgary.
So I took my camera to Fort Calgary and Heritage Park. I imagined standing on the same ground as the early immigrants and settlers would where instead of cars there were carriages. I imagined a place where Chinese was a dirty word. I also drove out to Head Smashed-In Buffalo Jump and tried to envision a prairie filled with a thundering ocean of bison. I even stood atop the Calgary Olympic Park to catch a glimpse of the sunrise over downtown Calgary.
Despite my Chinese ancestry, I realized in my little exploration that my deep affiliation has been with the snow-capped mountains, the cold winters, and mostly yellowish prairie landscape. To think that so many others tried to live here, eventually succeeding so that I might succeed here, feels humbling.
So here is my short history of Calgary: